The Total War series, developed by Sega and Creative Assembly, continues to raise the standards when it comes to PC-Strategy games. With each iteration, they keep improving their formula, giving us award-winning games at every turn. Feral Interactive is the one behind the Total War franchise on MacOS. All of Feral’s ports are Gold Editions of course, including downloadable content and more.

Overall, Napoleon: Total War is an excellent package, picking up right where Empire: Total War left off. The game takes place during the Napoleonic wars (from 1796 to Napoleon’s defeat at the battle of Waterloo) and follows Napoleon’s military career. The only reason it isn’t one of the leading Mac strategy games is because it was replaced by the impressive Total War: Warhammer.

Enter Napoleon: Total War

The tutorial is a good place to start if you’re new to the game (or not), as it teaches you basic combat for Land and Sea and has a great “Campaign Tutorial” where you play through Napoleon’s early years. This campaign will teach you the basic mechanics of the campaign and introduces you to the full single-player campaign. Total War games are known for their tight and deep mechanics, but also their huge sense of scale. If you are new to Total War games, do not skip the tutorial!

Napoleon TW plays much like the two other games that came before it. The mechanics are much the same as Empire’s and it has some touches of Rome: Total War too. You have three game modes to play through: The campaign, Land battles, and Sea battles. The campaign takes place across Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa, each continent with its own missions and objectives.

The campaign is where you control your empire, cities, and armies. This is the place where you can manage Spies / Gentlemen (used to destroy/steal technology, find out enemy information and speed up technology creation), Cities (where you recruit armies and create buildings), Trade and diplomacy and of course, control your armies. All these actions are turn-based and add to the sense of scale.
There were a few AI problems on the Campaign Map, with enemy armies being moved around pointlessly and the odd smaller army sent to an unnecessary death. In any case, this is where the game is controlled. The Land and Sea battles occur when attacking a town, city or ship during the campaign mode and happen in real time.

These battles have always been extremely fun and Napoleon: TW is no exception. In fact, Napoleon takes the whole battle system even further, making it more user-friendly and graphically impressive!

Napoleon: Total War Mac

The Land battles’ gameplay is as fun as ever. The battle starts with a panoramic view of both attacking and defending armies.

The line infantry, cavalry, and artillery can then be moved for optimum cover, high ground and so on. After that,  the battle can begin. Both armies have numerous attack and defense choices: Different shot types, formations or auto-fire to name a few. You can even assault forts and use siege weapons. I have to say these battles are a real treat and are the best I’ve experienced in a strategy game. The Sea battles don’t fall short either.

The combat itself is good fun, although it can be a little harder to play. The ships also have different attack and defense options, including different shot types, movement speeds and the ability to shoot from either side of the ship.

Napoleon: Total War Mac

The multiplayer part of the game is a great addition, with LAN- based multiplayer available directly in the in-game interface. However, Online multiplayer requires the additional GameRanger software: Install, register and point the software to Napoleon:  Total War Mac application and away you go. Both will enable you to play against friends or random players. I completed the Main Campaign on normal settings. It did have its fair share of challenges but wasn’t too hard neither. It was a perfect compromise to keep the gameplay enjoyable.

It took me 8 – 10 hours to complete but this is only a rough indication as you can spend much more time on the campaign building a more sustained infrastructure. I did play some of the campaign battles on the harder levels (which you must try!) and this is where you see the true AI potential, which can be tactically brilliant! Coupled with the multiplayer side of the game and the additional game modes (which I’m still enjoying), you will have hours of fun with Napoleon TW.


The whole package is brilliantly put together, from the Start Menu to the beautifully rendered graphics during battles!

Napoleon: Total War Mac

The Land battles take place on beautifully rendered landscapes. The graphics and unit-animations are great, although they start to show their age (the game was originally released on 2010). Nevertheless, all the troops look unique, with distinctive heights and build. Ranks of infantry firing muskets, blocking and charging using bayonet attacks are all wonderfully animated. The Cavalry riding across landscapes kicking up the dust also adds to the realism. And the sea battles don’t fall short in the graphics department!

The sea is incredibly realistic – add to this the effects of a sinking ship with sailors jumping overboard as it goes down. The cut-scenes are well done and give you lots of inspiring, interesting information about Napoleon.


Napoleon: Total War ran perfectly on my system without any problems. I played this game on my Mid 2011 21.5” iMac:

  • OS: OS X 10.7.5 Lion
  • Processor: Intel i5 2.5GHz
  • Graphics: AMD HD Radeon 6750M 512MB
  • RAM: 4 GB

Minimum Mac Requirements:

  • OS X 10.7 or 10.8
  • 2GHz Intel Core Duo
  • 30GB Hard drive space
  • 4GB RAM
  • 256MB VRAM

The following graphics cards are not supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel GMA series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and NVIDIA 8xxx series. The following cards require you to have 8GB of system RAM: Intel HD3000, NVIDIA 9400, Intel HD4000 and NVIDIA 320M. Download version does not require a DVD drive.

The Verdict

Napoleon: Total War Mac

The Good

  • Excellent Campaign System
  • Battles are graphically impressive
  • The impressive scale of battles
  • Brilliant sound effects and narratives
  • New multiplayer modes

The Bad

  • Having to install third-party software for online multiplayer
  • Some AI problems on the campaign map

Final Word

Feral has brought us a fantastic game which I feel everyone should have in their strategy games collection. Napoleon: Total war is a visually appealing, high-quality strategy game that you should have. With a great Campaign mode, Historical battles and Multiplayer modes along with the included DLC: The Peninsular Campaign and unit packs, Napoleon TW offers excellent value.